As per itinerary.
Type of trip
Tour and safari
Private AC car, train, jeep and rickshaw
Start / End
This fantastic 16 day, 15 night itinerary allows you to explore some of the finest and most impressive temples sites as well as visit three famous tiger reserves. You'll see the Nagara style of temple architecture in the World Heritage Site of Khajuraho, known for its exquisite architecture and erotic depictions. Experience Varanasi, also known as the City of Temples, considered the oldest living city in the world with its bathing ghats and serene atmosphere. You'll also have the best opportunity to sight tigers along with a wide range wildlife, in their natural habitats when you go on jeep safari in three of Central India's most famous tiger reserves - Satpura, Kanha and Bandhavgarh.
Welcome to Delhi, capital city of India, a modern city as well as place of rich history and colourful day to day life where the old continuously jostles with the new. Delhi and India is a place of delightful contrasts and surprises. You'll be met on arrival by our local representatives for the transfer drive and check in to your hotel. The rest of your day is at leisure to rest and relax, enjoy your hotel or perhaps explore locally. Overnight at Dharampura Haveli.
After breakfast, enjoy a full day guided city tour. Your tour begins in Old Delhi, with a visit to Raj Ghat, a simple memorial to Mahatma Gandhi. Later we drive past the Red Fort en route to visit to Jama Masjid, one of Asia’s largest mosques. Enjoy a rickshaw ride in the Old Delhi’s busy and narrow lanes, a great way to explore locally and lots of fun. After visiting Old Delhi, we head to New Delhi, which reflects the legacy left by British colonialism. The division between New and Old Delhi is the division between the capitals and lifestyles of the British and the Mughals respectively. The walled city is all about tradition where you'll enjoy insights and glimpses of Delhi of the past. New Delhi in contrast, is a city trying to live up to the best of 21st century standards. Your tour of Imperial Delhi will include a drive pass Rashtrapati Bhawan, the President’s residence & Parliament building followed by a photo stop at the imposing India Gate. Later, visit Lakshmi Narayan Mandir, a modern Hindu temple as well as Humayun’s tomb, built by the widow of the second Mughal Emperor Humayun as well Qutub Minar, the tallest stone tower in India. Evening at leisure and overnight at Dharampura Haveli.
After breakfast it's time to drive to Agra., approximately 4 hours with plenty to see enroute. You'll be able to check in to your hotel on arrival. After time to get refreshed, this afternoon you'll visit Agra Fort – the seat and stronghold of the Mughal Empire under successive generations of rulers. The present structure owes its origins to Akbar who erected the walls and gates and the first buildings on the eastern banks of Yamuna River. Shah Jehan added the impressive quarters and the mosque while Aurangzeb added the outer ramparts. Explore the Hall of Public Audience and its Royal Pavilions. This evening enjoy a beautiful sunset tour of the iconic Taj Mahal, a monument to love and power. The Taj Mahal is everything that has been said about it and more. Taking 22 years and 20,000 men to build, the white marble was quarried 200 miles away and transported to the site by a fleet of 1000 elephants. Built by the Mughal Emperor Shah Jahan as an expression of his love for his wife Mumtaz Mahal, in the mid-17th century, the Taj Mahal is truly one of the wonders of the world. Though the Taj appears to be amazingly perfect from almost any angle, it is the close-up marble inlay work, which is really astounding. After your tour the rest of your evening is at leisure to rest and relax. Overnight at The Trident.
This morning you'll be picked up for the short transfer drive to the train station and your train from Agra to Bhopal, a Central Indian city of Nawabs, departing 0800am, arriving 1400hrs. You'll be met on arrival to begin the transfer drive of around 3 hours to reach Satpura Tiger Reserve, in the beautiful highlands of Central India. The journey will take you through small towns, forested hills and remote villages. Nestled in the beautiful forested hills of the Satpura landscape, Satpura Tiger Reserve is one of the most biodiversity rich areas of Central India. From the small insectivore plants to the magnificent Bengal tiger, this is a region rich in flora and fauna of every kind. every flora and fauna typical of this region are found here. The Tiger Reserve was formed after merging Satpura National Park, Bori Wildlife Sanctuary and Pachmarhi Wildlife Sanctuary. It is also a part of the Pachmarhi Biosphere Reserve that covers almost 4927 km². Relax this evening, ready to begin your safari early tomorrow. Overnight at Forsyth Lodge, Satpura.
Today you will have both a walking safari and a jeep safari in the reserve. Satpura is one of the few tiger reserves where visitors can walk in the core areas of the reserve. The walking safari is one of the best ways to see and encounter the smaller animals, plants and insects that live in the forest as well as the amphibians and reptiles. To ensure safety for everyone during the walk, trained guides from the Forestry Department carry bear horns, pepper spray and a stick. You'll also have a jeep safari today. On this we keep to the forest roads from where you can enjoy the sighting of the larger wildlife from the safety of the vehicle. Most of the big animals are used to the tourist vehicles and especially if everyone is quiet and keeps the noise down, there's a great chance for some close up encounters and great photo memories. Overnight at Forsyth Lodge.
Enjoy a morning canoeing and later this afternoon a visit to the local village. A canoe trip gives you the chance to observe the endangered and rare water birds of the reserve, which includes the Indian Skimmer, Purple Heron, Bar Headed Geese, River Tern and cormorants. Some are migratory birds that come here from destinations across the world. You'll also get the chance to observe crocodiles and if you are lucky you might get to see a tiger or leopard drinking water from the river bank. On your village visit this afternoon you'll be able to visit the local school (subject to the academic calendar) and also visit the house of a local tribes person. The area is dominated by the Gond tribe and they have their unique culture and their own way of living in harmony with the wildlife. Their Gondwana Land has been named after the tribe because the portion in India where they live was once the part of Gondwana Land. Sunset & Champagne - this beautiful reserve is located right across the river Denwa which forms its natural boundary. It's a very beautiful setting and at sunrise and sunset one can see the activities of the crepuscular animals and birds (those that are active at twilight) in and near the water. The setting makes this place a perfect location for enjoying a nice glass of champagne with the beautiful sunset. Overnight at Forsyth Lodge.
After breakfast it's time to say goodbye to this amazing place and start your onward journey to the another jewel of Central India. Jabalpur is the gateway to both Kanha and Bandhavgarh – two of India’s finest National Parks. Kanha is renowned as being the best managed wildlife park in Asia and you are more than likely to have an excellent few days spotting wildlife here. Safaris into Kanha offer excellent opportunities for wildlife photography and bird watching and it is considered one of the best places in the world to see wild tigers. It's a drive to Pipariya then train to Jabalpur and another drive to reach Kanha. Rest and relax overnight at Singinawa Jungle Resort.
For your first day in Kanha, you'll be able to take two jungle drives through the stunning sal forests and meadows looking for sloth bear, jackal, the rare barasingha (hard ground swamp deer) as well as sambar, and of course Sher Khan himself - the Bengal Tiger! There are many success stories of wildlife conservation associated with Kanha Tiger Reserve. Most prominent among them is the revival of the population of hard ground swamp deer or Barasingha. Kanha was declared a National Park in 1955 and a Tiger reserve in 1973. The mammal and bird diversity of the park is fabulous having almost the entire faunal species of Central India including Tiger, Leopard and Wild Dogs. There are also 5 types of deer including the smallest one, the Mouse Deer which along with Indian Gaur constitute the main prey species for the carnivores. The beautiful habitat of the Sal forest and savannah grasslands are ideal for survival of the big mammals especially the tigers. Two rivers flowing through the reserve ensures a water supply to the wildlife and forest throughout the year. It's an early start today for the best chance to see the animals. Breakfast will be served in the park, and lunch and dinner provided at the lodge. Overnight at Singinawa Jungle Resort.
Today you will be able to have a bit of a lie-in! Before breakfast take the opportunity to meet and interact with Tara the beloved elephant who was the star of the late Mark Shand's "Travels on my Elephant". She loves to be bathed and scrubbed in the nearby river. Meetings with Tara often become the highlight of a guest’s trip to India and is especially popular with families traveling with children. After a late breakfast, you'll be able to visit the local villages with the chance to meet some of the villagers, to learn about the culture and way of living of the Baiga Tribe, considered to be the first tribe of India and to have the distinction of the honor as a ‘National Tribe’. They are a very traditional tribe and still practice some of the oldest ways of farming and other traditional practices. After lunch, enjoy another afternoon jungle drive into Kanha National Park, before returning to the lodge for dinner and to rest and relax overnight. Overnight at Singinawa Jungle Resort.
Early this morning you will have your last jungle drive in Kanha, before heading off to Bandhavgarh, around 5 hours drive. Reaching Bandhavgarh you'll have an orientation tour of the lodge. Bandhavgarh National Park is one of the finest Tiger reserves in Central India and has the largest density of tigers in the world in its tourism zone. This famous tiger hunting area was once owned by the erstwhile Maharaja of Rewa. It was handed over by him to the Government in 1968. Once it came under the control of the Forest Department, Bandhavgarh’s fortune took a dramatic turn -it was declared a protected area and the animal population began to flourish. The Park has extensive Sal forest, hills, valleys, rivers, marshes and meadows, resulting in varied floral and faunal diversity. The forest is dominated by sal and bamboo and the vegetation of the Park is mainly tropical moist deciduous with dry mixed forests in the higher reaches of the hills. All meals and overnight stay is at the lodge. Overnight at Bandhav Vilas.
Enjoy a morning and an afternoon safari into the Park. The Bandhavgarh National Park is the place where the famous White Tigers of Rewa were discovered. The last known capture of a white tiger was in 1951. Bandhavgarh is densely populated with other animal species too and you'll have a great chance to spot some of the many animals and birds living here today. Bandhavgarh National Park has around 242 bird species. Besides the two critically Endangered Vulture species, the Lesser Adjutant and Sarus Crane are also found here. Overnight, Bandhav Vilas.
This morning you will have another early morning jungle drive and a late breakfast before heading off to the ancient city of Khajuraho – around six hours drive to the north. Khajuraho has the largest group of medieval Hindu and Jain temples, famous for their erotic sculptures. The name Khajuraho, ancient "Kharjuravāhaka", is derived from the Sanskrit words kharjura (date palm) and vāhaka (one who carries). The Khajuraho Group of Monuments has been listed as a UNESCO World Heritage Site, and is considered one of the "seven wonders" of India. This evening visit the ‘Light and Sound’ show in the western groups of temples. Overnight stay and all meals at The Lalit Temple View hotel.
The morning will be spent exploring the beautiful temples and erotic sculptures around Khajuraho, before you take the flight to Varanasi. This is one of India’s cultural hubs and must- see attractions. On arrival at Varanasi, you'll be able to check into your hotel and have dinner with the rest of your evening to relax. Varanasi is one of the oldest cities of the world and an important Hindu pilgrimage centre, which attracts a large number of people from all over the world. For centuries, Varanasi has been famous for spiritualism, mysticism, Indian philosophy and Hinduism. Besides numerous temples, Varanasi also boasts of Buddhist Stupas and Jain temples. The principal attraction is the bathing ghats that are always bustling with life at any time of day. Overnight at Hotel Brijrama Palace.
Start today with an early morning boat ride on the holy River Ganges. See Varanasi come alive along the banks of the river with people bathing in the holy waters and worshiping the rising sun. As well as the start of a new day you'll also be able to witness the end of life at the holy cremation grounds on the riverbank. We return back to the hotel for breakfast and afterwards, we visit Sarnath a holy pilgrimage site for Buddhists. It is here in the deer park where Gautama Buddha first taught the Dharma (faith). Several Buddhist structures were raised at Sarnath between the 3rd century BC and the 11th century AD, and today it presents the most expansive ruins amongst all places on the Buddhist trail. In the evening you can witness the Aarti ceremony on Dasaswamedh ghat. Ganga Aarti takes place every sunset at holy Dasaswamedh Ghat, near Kashi Vishwanath Temple. This beautiful ritual makes every moment of the evening special and fills you with the spiritual thoughts. Relax overnight at Hotel Brijrama Palace.
This morning it's time for your transfer to the airport for your flight to Delhi, departing 0925am and arriving 1105hrs. You'll be met on arrival for the transfer to your hotel, close to the airport to make it a short drive today and for your departure at the end of your trip tomorrow. The rest of your day and evening is at leisure to relax, enjoy the pool or do any last shopping or exploring. A car is available for any last minute shopping or exploring you might want to do. Overnight at the Lemon Tree Hotel, Aerocity.
Today you'll be transferred to the International Airport in time for your flight home or on to your next destination.